Design Training for Ministry Leaders
"Because it's always been done that way." These seven last words signal the death of possibility for ministries everywhere. Breaking familiar patterns is incredibly difficult, but tools from the world of design thinking can help. These training materials offer a theological framework and practical exercises to help ministry leaders embrace empathy, make sense of others' stories, and generate fresh ideas. Get ready for challenging, vulnerable work and prepare to break from the familiar to reform and transform your church and the communities it serves.
What is design thinking?
Design thinking is an empathy-driven, human-centered approach to addressing complex problems. This session provides an overview of design thinking, offers a theological reflection on the power of empathy in encountering others, and introduces an activity to prepare for a design cycle.
Download Session 1: What is design thinking?
How do I practice empathy?
Generative research is about problem-seeking, not problem-solving, in the early phases of the design thinking process. This session delves into the nature of generative research, outlines a few frameworks for developing empathy, and includes practical tips for conducting empathetic interviews.
Download Session 2: How do I practice empathy?
I've listened—now what?
Sense-making is critical to the design thinking process because it's where conversations and observations are "magically" transformed into insights and ideas that can be prototyped. This session covers sense-making and suggests a few frameworks for synthesizing generative research.
Want to learn more about design? Check out these resources:
- “A Taxonomy of Innovation” by Luma Institute
- "Design Thinking" by Tim Brown
- “Design Thinking 101” by Sarah Gibbons
- “Design Thinking Comes of Age” by Jon Kolko
- "Design Thinking for Social Innovation" by Tim Brown & Jocelyn Wyatt
- "Updated Empathy Map Canvas" by Dave Gray
- “What You Will Find on a Design Researcher’s Bookshelf” by Jon Freach
- 101 Design Methods by Vijay Kumar
- Creative Confidence by Tom & David Kelley
- Doorbells, Danger, and Dead Batteries by Steve Portigal
- Gamestorming by Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, and James Macanufo
- Interviewing Users by Steve Portigal
- Just Enough Research by Erika Hall
- The Little Book of Design Research Ethics by IDEO
- Thinkpak: A Brainstorming Card Deck by Michael Michalko
- Wicked Problems by Jon Kolko